Tutorial 6: Audio Coding: Recent Advances and Standards


Gerald Schuller; Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits
Juergen Herre; Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits

Time & Location

Monday Afternoon, May 17, 13:30 - 16:30, Location: Marquette


The recent years have seen an increased variety and diversity in the field of audio coding. Many new flavors of coding have emerged, including scalable audio coding, error-robust coding schemes, low-delay audio coding, efficient coding of multi-channel signals, and hybrid coding of natural and synthetic sound sources.

New development activities have been started within ISO/MPEG to achieve attractive audio quality at very low bit-rates (bit-rates below e.g. 60kb/s for a stereo signal) by means of bandwidth extension technology or high-quality parametric audio coding. Standardization of lossless audio coding provides compressed audio at highest quality. A new standardization effort is initiated for stereo-compatible spatial coding of multi-channel signals. Such technologies enable audio coding applications for a number of new areas, such as high quality tele-conferencing; digital microphones, speakers or headphones; digital AM radio; and very high quality audio storage and transmission.

The Tutorial will describe the basic concepts and algorithms behind these new directions. It will include the principles of perceptual audio coding, some properties of human hearing, and filter banks for a suitable time-frequency decomposition.

Current state-of-the-art audio coding schemes will be discussed with emphasis on the coders defined within the MPEG audio standards, and some application examples will be outlined, including digital audio broadcasting (terrestrial, AM, IBOC, Satellite Radio). A number of audio demonstrations will illustrate the performance of the discussed new techniques.

Presenter Information

Gerald Schuller is head of the audio coding research department of the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology in Ilmenau, Germany, since January 2002. He received the "Vordiplom" (B.S.) degree in mathematics from the Technical University of Clausthal, Germany, in 1984, the "Vordiplom" and "Diplom" (M.S.) degree in electrical engineering from the Technical University of Berlin, Germany, in 1986 and 1989 respectively, and the Ph.D. degree from the University of Hanover in 1997.

He received a fellowship to study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, in 1989/90, was a Research Assistant at the Technical University of Berlin from 1990 to 1992, where he worked on speech coding, a Teaching Assistant at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, in 1993, where he worked on low delay perfect reconstruction filter banks, and a Research Assistant at the University of Bonn, Germany, in 1994, where he worked on filter banks for vision applications and their optimization.

Before joining the Fraunhofer Institute he was Member of Technical Staff at Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies, and Agere Systems, a Lucent Spin-off, from 1998 to 2001. There he worked in the Multimedia Communications Research Laboratory.

Dr. Schuller is associate editor for the IEEE Transactions on Speech and Audio Processing, member of the IEEE Technical Committee on Audio and Electroacoustics, the IEEE Technical Committee on Speech Processing, and the Audio Engineering Society Technical Committee on Coding of Audio Signals.

Juergen Herre joined the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits (IIS) in Erlangen, Germany, in 1989. Since then he has been involved in the development of perceptual coding algorithms for high quality audio, including the well-known ISO/MPEG-Audio Layer III coder (aka "MP3"). In 1995, Dr. Herre joined Bell Laboratories for a PostDoc term working on the development of MPEG-2 Advanced Audio Coding (AAC). Since the end of '96 he is back at Fraunhofer working on the development of advanced multimedia technology including MPEG-4, MPEG-7 and secure delivery of audiovisual content, currently as the Chief Scientist for the Audio/Multimedia activities at Fraunhofer IIS, Erlangen.

Dr. Herre is a fellow of the Audio Engineering Society, co-chair of the AES Technical Committee on Coding of Audio Signals and vice chair of the AES Technical Council. He also served as an associate editor of the IEEE Transactions on Speech and Audio Processing, is a member of the Technical Committee on Audio and Electroacoustics, and an active member of the MPEG audio subgroup.

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